Tamarind and Orange Chicken (4)

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Tamarind paste is a key ingredient in Thai cooking and you will probably have eaten it without knowing it. However, if you taste the paste by dipping a finger in it and licking your finger you will find it has a sour, tangy taste which startles the taste buds. When combined with other ingredients its taste is changed. Tamarind paste is easily found in Asian stores or online if it is not stocked in your local supermarket.

Messing about in the kitchen with tamarind paste and coconut milk, ginger and garlic to prepare a Thai dish, I found that the tamarind flavor came through too strongly. It needed something sweet to dampen down its unique taste and I chose freshly squeezed orange juice. The resulting dish was no longer particularly Thai but it did produce a new chicken dish with a lovely thick, glossy sauce which I then topped with chopped cilantro. Brown rice is a good accompaniment.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 x skinless chicken legs

1 large onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 x 2 inch piece of ginger – grated

1 tsp. turmeric

1 can of lite coconut milk

1 1/2 tbsp. tamarind paste

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice

Cilantro – finely chopped (enough for sprinkling over the top)

Heat oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the chicken legs and sear on both sides until nicely browned – set aside.

Add onion to the casserole dish (you can add more oil if needed) and let soften and brown before adding the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes until you can smell the spices.

Stir in the tamarind paste and when smooth pour in the coconut milk.

Place chicken legs in casserole dish, bring to boil and simmer for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over brown rice.

 

 

 

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Kate’s Chicken and Chorizo Tray Bake (4)

 

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Inspired by to a visit to my sister-in-law who served me something similar. Chicken and chorizo are good together and everything is cooked in a large metal baking tray. I used a mixture of bone-in chicken and thighs with the skin on (love crispy chicken skin – a naughty treat!). I seared the chicken first in a skillet on both sides and made sure the skin was nice and crisp. All the chopped vegetables were tossed in oil and seasoned in a large mixing bowl to ensure an even coating. Everything was placed in the baking tray – veg. at one side, the chicken and sausage in separate parts of the tray. Cooking took and hour at a high heat between 375 and 400 degrees. Because the chorizo sausage gives out quite a bit of fat I immediately decanted everything to a serving platter with a slotted spoon placing the veg. on the bottom and placed the chicken and sausage on top. Wunderbar!

1medium eggplant – sliced and salted

2 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 bone-in chicken breasts with skin on

2 chicken thighs with skin on

1 large onion – roughly chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 red peppers – de-seeded and sliced

1 dry pint baby tomatoes

1 tbsp. fat reserved from cooking the chicken

8 oz. chorizo sausage – cut into thickish slices

Pre-heat oven to 375-400 degrees.

Let the eggplant stand for 30 minutes, then rinse and cut into smallish chunks

Place 1 tbsp. seasoned olive oil in a skillet and when really hot add the chicken and sear on both sides making sure that the chicken skin is nice and crisp.

Put the other tbsp. of olive oil in a large mixing bowl and add the veg. one at a time mixing well before adding the next veg. Finally add 1 tbsp. of the fat reserved from cooking the chicken.

Place all ingredients in the baking tray making sure the veg., chicken and sausage are slightly separated from each other and cook for an hour, checking every 20 minutes to give veg. a good stir.